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Caesareos cineres quae moles clauserat olim,
Arx est Romano nuncsacra Pontifici.
Qum ben qui mortis nunc est mortalibus auctor,
Morti sacratas obtinet iste domos.[1]

The huge building which once enclosed the ashes of the Emperor is now the sacred citadel for the Roman pontiff. How suitable that he who even now is the cause of death to mortals occupies a dwelling dedicated to death.


1. The image clarifies the meaning of this emblem: it is the Castel Saint’ Angelo in Rome, originally a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian, but converted into a Papal residence. The building to the left is probably meant to be Saint Peter’s, likening its never-ending reconstruction and expansion in the sixteenth century to the doomed Tower of Babel - a product of vanity, which ultimately drove its builders mad - as perhaps is shown in this image by men jumping off the roof.

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